• 12 May 2022

Different generations, different work-life balance

In a previous article, we shared tips on how to live a balanced work-personal life. However, there is more to it since the concept of work-life balance varies across generations. 

American psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner was the first to propose that human development is a process of repeated reciprocal interactions between individuals, objects, and symbols in their environments. Therefore, not only the immediate social circle of an individual influences his attitudes and behaviors but also broader systems that comprise the extended family and friends, the mass media, government agencies, the ideologies of the culture, and historical changes and events that characterize the environment, for instance. Because all the examples just mentioned varying across generations, we can conclude that the idea of how to live a balanced work-personal life is also not the same. 


Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby boomers were raised after WWII by parents who went through the Great Depression. To avoid the same challenges their family experienced, their work ethic is oriented toward working long hours and enjoying little rest and family time. They also tend to be more loyal to the employer and very competitive.  


Those born between 1965 and 1980 are part of the so-called Generation X. Unlike the previous generation, they tend to change different employment and move whenever they feel unsatisfied with the quality of their role or workplace more broadly. They don't mind hard work if it pays off, and they are happy to move around their schedule to fit in some family commitments. 


Millennials comprise the generation born between 1980 and 2000. They resemble Generation X in terms of work flexibility, but they brought the concept to the next level. They are more willing to accept slightly lower salaries if that signifies having better control of their lives and choices. However, they value compensation, benefits, and retirement packages because they doubt the durability of social security benefits. In short, Millennials enjoy a mix of job and lifestyle.


Finally, those born between 1996 and 2012 are part of Generation Z. They are the biggest generation since the Baby boomers. Many of them are recently approaching work for the first time, and it appears that their direction is much similar to that taken by Millennials. Financial stress and health care are top concerns for this generation. 

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